How Much You Need to Exercise If You Sit at a Desk All Day

Numerous studies suggest that an hour a day is enough; but it matters how you spend those 60 minutes


Watching every season of your favorite show may sound like the perfect Friday night for some, but you’re putting your health at risk after just a couple of episodes. You are literally sitting yourself to death. Sitting more than 11 hours a day increases risk of premature death by 40 percent.[slideshow:101943]

Sitting is not really the new smoking, McLean Shane McLean, certified personal trainer at Balance Guy Training, says. “This is obviously a bit of an exaggeration, but sitting will definitely not help you stay healthy in the long run.”

The price of leading an inactive lifestyle is high and it comes in the form of physical pain and obesity along with complications as a result of these chronic conditions. Sedentary jobs have increased 83 percent since 1950; physically active jobs now make up less than 20 percent of the workforce in the U.S., according to the American Heart Association.

People may feel embarrassed exercising in the office, which is why forming a little group of enthusiasts who want to move more is an effective approach, and it helps with staying accountable, McLean says. Recruit a few people and have them get up every hour or so to walk over for conversations, stretch in a group, or do some squats. “You can also not email a person in the office and walk up to them instead.”

A huge study suggests that the right formula for counteracting the negative effects of sitting has to do with the ratio of how much you sit to how active you are the rest of the day. If you work a typical eight-hour day then you should spend at least one hour each day moving. And that hour can be spaced out.

Click here to find out how much you need to exercise if you sit all day

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